#LiveShows

WOZA ALBERT! makes an always welcome return

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Back by popular demand, Joburg Theatre is proud to present Woza Albert! by Percy Mtwa, Mbongeni Ngema and Barney Simon, on The Fringe Theatre stage from Friday 1 June – Sunday 17 June.

Woza Albert! will always remain as one of the most vibrant examples of satirical anti-apartheid South African Theatre,  demonstrating innovation and creativity during one of the most pivotal and ground-breaking periods of theatre in this country.

Woza Albert! is still a relevant story today, which is why it’s a school set-work in the South African GDE school curriculum, and therefore essential viewing for learners. The theatre piece offers a great tool for audience development while assisting with the school curriculum. The play portrays so much truth and clarifies a simple approach to the human condition, therefore making it continually relevant to South Africa.

Segomotso Modise and Hamilton Dlamini play the roles of various black South Africans – a vendor, barber, domestic worker, manual labourer and soldier – each receiving the news that Christ (Morena) has arrived in South Africa, where they live under a Calvinist, white elite imposed apartheid.

2018 SAFTA award winner for Best Actor – TV Soap/Telenovela, Hamilton Dlamini, had a starring role as bumbling private investigator TT in the Mzansi Magic comedy series Boomba and TT, in 2012.  In 2015 he had a starring role as Mnqobi Simelane, a self-made man in his 40s who is in a polygamous marriage with two wives and a possible third, in the e.tv drama series Umlilo.

Segomotso Modise started his theatre career in 2005 starring in a production titled ‘Question Mark’ which earned him the award best actor in the leading role in the stop crime drama festival.  In 2014 he made his musical debut when he starred in MARIKANA – THE MUSICAL by Aubrey Sekhabi which walked away with 6 Naledi awards, and after a sensational performance in the musical he was called to star in the recent musical TAKING BACK THE FUTURE by Tshepo Ratona and Presley Chweneyagae. His television work includes an awareness ad for children and women abuse and a Guest appearance in a popular local sitcom Ga Re Dumele. His international tours include Germany, Amsterdam, Austria, Poland and the UK, with various acclaimed award winning plays like ‘Interracial’ & ‘Rocksburg’, to name just a couple.

These two theatre veterans make it easy for audiences to relate in the new South Africa, where people are desperate for a better life despite their political freedom. The parts played by Bheki and Hamilton show off their skills in acting, mime, singing and dance. They also have the unique ability to create images using a few words and actions.

The play is a political satire that imagines the second coming of Christ in apartheid-era South Africa. It looks at a wide range of characters in South Africa at the beginning of the 1980s and attacks the pass laws that prevented Black people from moving freely at the time. The production uses the metaphor of Morena (Jesus) to show what would happen if he came back to South Africa during apartheid. Would he like what he saw? And if he saw the atrocities of the time then why would he not do anything about them?

Woza Albert! will be on stage at The Fringe Theatre @ Joburg Theatre from 1 – 17 June 2018.

Performance times:
There are morning performances on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays at 11h00.

Fridays and Saturdays at 20h00.

Sundays at 15h00.

Tickets are priced from R70.00 and are available by visiting www.joburgtheatre.com , through Webtickets or by calling 0861 670 670.  Special pension discounts are available.

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Segomotso Modise and Hamilton Dlamini

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MARRIED … BUT NOT TO EACH OTHER – 3 New Cities Added to Current Tour!!

Ndumiso Lindi and Tumi Morake have added three new cities to their ‘Married…But Not To Each Other’ Tour

 “They’re in it together.  Not Together-Together, But Together…” 

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Whilst travelling on one of their hilarious adventures, comedy’s modern traditionalist, Ndumiso Lindi together with comedy’s bad momma, Tumi Morake were asked by a customs official: “Are you married?”  Ndumiso quickly replied: “Yes”, realised what he was saying and added: “But not to each other.”  And thus began the comical journey for this wife and husband … of other people.

Now they’re taking their rib-cracking, side-splitting new stand-up show, ‘Married…But Not To Each Other’ across South Africa and into Africa.  Following a successful debut show in Menlyn (Pretoria) and two sold-out shows in Cape Town, new dates have been added in Botswana, Krugersdorp and Nelspruit, in addition to their official launch show on April 14 at the Lyric Theatre, Gold Reef City in Johannesburg.

It’s a hilarious take on the roles and regulations of marriage and the pothole-laced roads the sexes have to navigate.  It’s not just about marriage.  It’s also about the world that these marriages have to survive in.

Ndumiso Lindi, the gentleman of South African comedy (otherwise known as Roosta), effortlessly blends new-age style with old-school traditions.  His deep voice, soul-warming smile, booming laughter, original content and seamless delivery make for a comedy act that is outstanding and soulfully South African.

With a comedy career spanning over 11 years and numerous outstanding credentials under her belt, Tumi Morake continues to be a formidable force in the comedy industry.  Her edgy and unpredictable brand of comedy has wowed audiences around the globe.  When she’s not on stage, Tumi Morake can also be seen on TV screens hosting WTFTUMI and Point of Order as well as channelling her seemingly endless talents into writing, acting and producing.

Tour Details:

3 March – Protea Hotel Fire & Ice (Menlyn)

9 March – Protea Hotel Fire & Ice (Cape Town) [SOLD OUT]

10 March – Protea Hotel Fire & Ice (Cape Town) [SOLD OUT]

14 April – Lyric Theatre, Gold Reef City (Johannesburg)

5 May – The Grand Palm Hotel (Gaborone, Botswana)

26 May – Silverstar Casino (Krugersdorp)

27 July – Emnotweni Casino (Nelspruit)

Tickets are available through Computicket (except for Botswana where tickets are available directly through the venue).  Visit www.computicket.com or at a Computicket outlet near you.  ‘Married…But Not To Each Other’ carries a PG16 age restriction.

Proudly brought to you by Blu Blood (www.blublood.com @BluBloodSA).

Connect on social media:

Facebook: TumiMorakeSA, NdumisoLindi or Twitter: @tumi_morake, @NdumisoLindi

#marriedbutnottoeachother

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PRISCILLA QUEEN OF THE DESERT

HOP ON THE BUS TO FABULOUS!

PQD DIVA's Credit Lance Peterson

Divas Candida Mosomo, Londiwe Dhlomo & Tembeka Mnguni – Photo Credit: Lance Peterson

From the minute the curtain goes up and the cast of Priscilla Queen of the Desert launches into their enthusiastic, energetic opening number: It’s Raining Men – complete with 3 sparkly, shimmering Diva’s suspended above their heads – you know you’re in for a helluva ride! And that’s exactly what you get when you take your seat for this proudly South African production that takes you on the journey of a lifetime across the Australian outback.

In case you don’t know, this is the touching story of three drag queens who travel across Australia on a rather decrepit bus, which they fondly name Priscilla, Queen of the Desert. On their journey they discover the true meaning of friendship, love and unfortunately also meet up with the animosity that accompanies those who have no understanding of anyone or anything ‘different’. It’s a timeless tale of how strong bonds are formed, how hatred and derision continue to exist despite the advances that we think are being made, and how ultimately we all have the need to be accepted for who we are, regardless of our differences.

Daniel Buys is perfect in the role of Tick (Mitzi); delightfully up-beat, while seamlessly able to shift into a more restrained, reflective mood when his role requires it. And it’s certainly needed as he secretly has more than one reason to be schlepping around the

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David Dennis, Daniel Buys, Phillip Schnetler – Photo Credit: Nardus Engelbrecht

outback in a broken-down bus! He ropes in flighty Adam (Felicia) to join him on his mission, and Felicia has a goal of her very own. Apart from just wanting to have a good time, she’s always wanted to belt out a Kylie number on top of Ayers rock, because who doesn’t love the thought of ‘a cock in a frock on a rock’! Phillip Schnetler camps up the role with spot-on, screaming hilarity (and a touch of Jack from Will & Grace)! The trio is complete with dignified, slightly aging transsexual Bernadette who feels she’s possibly past her prime, but willing to go out with a bang (so to speak!). David Dennis plays the role with gracious grandeur, back-biting as wickedly as any self-respecting old queen would! And I just have to add here, out of these three, I just can’t decide who has the best pair of legs … they’re all to die for!!

Tshepo Ncokoane in Priscilla. Credit NARDUS ENGELBRECHT 16

Tshepo Ncokoane – Photo credit: Nardus Engelbrecht

Mentions must go to the all too fabulous, stupendously over-the-top Miss-Understanding, Tshepo Ncokoane; Candice van Litsenborgh who hams it up as the most hilarious mullet ever, complete with humungous boobs bouncing all over the stage (almost); Chantal Herman as a cheeky mail-order bride who’s sick and tired of being overlooked; and last but most definitely not least, veteran actor, James Borthwick who plays the simple, but simply adorable, big-hearted mechanic, who might just have more to him than meets the eye.

Ultimately though, producers Hazel Feldman and Tony Feldman of Showtime Management have put together a cracker of a team who have have masterfully overseen all the minutiae of this show, ensuring that they collaborate perfectly to make it the glitter and glitz extravaganza that it is. Director Anton Luitingh keeps things crisp, smart and snappy and technical director Alistair Kilbee oversees the constant ebb and flow of the pizazz that abounds throughout. Resident choreographer, Duane Alexander ensures (I have no clue how) that the 28-strong cast gets every step in synch, in heels nogal!  Brian Schimmel, one of SA’s top music directors leads the 9-piece orchestra through numerous well-loved numbers (I Say a Little Prayer, Don’t Leave Me This Way, True Colours, I Will Survive … and many more) that will have audiences singing at the top of their lungs, not only during the show, but when they leave too!

And as for the costumes … the headdresses, the shoes … they’ll simply take your breath away! There’s so much colour, so much to look at … it’s a feast for the eyes and an extreme celebration of the imagination!

HR I WILL SURVIVE, Priscilla. Credit- Nardus Engelbrecht

Photo credit: Nardus Engelbrecht

Best of all though is the utter enjoyment that shines from the face of each and every cast member. This is a show that begs for an audience, and has audiences begging for more

Priscilla Queen of the Desert is a must-see. It’s fabulous fun, thoroughly entertaining, and if you don’t walk out of that theatre with a huge smile on your face, then you lied and didn’t actually see the show!

It’s on at the Teatro, Montecasino until 18 June, 2017.

BOOKINGS: Computicket by calling 0861 915 8000, or visit www.computicket.com

IMPORTANT INFORMATION:

This musical contains some strong language and adult themes, therefore parental guidance is recommended for children under the age of 12

SA MUSIC ICON STEVE KEKANA LIVE IN CONCERT IN IPHUPHO THE DREAM

With Special Guests Joe Nina, Sipho ‘Hotstix’ Mabuse and Ladysmith Black Mambazo

HOSTED BY IKUSASA (Ikusasa Arts Development Projects)

2 shows only : Saturday 29 April at 19h00 and Sunday 30 April at 13h00 on The Mandela Stage at Joburg Theatre

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This promises to be an unforgettable 2-hour show of pure nostalgia, with Kekana delivering all his hits from the start of his career back in 1978, to date.

Kekana lost his eye sight at the age of five, but has never let this stand in the way of fulfilling his dream. This concert aims to entertain and inspire those living with disabilities or who face challenges which may be regarded as stumbling blocks towards fulfilling their dreams.  This is the reason for show’s title: Iphupho the Dream.

Steve Kekana 3Kekana has over 20 albums to his credit and is one of the few artists who has managed to cross over varying genres, from Mbhaqanga, to Pop, Gospel and Soul. His decision to not confine himself to a single genre was frowned upon at the outset as it was believed that he would not be able to sustain a fan-base. But he proved his critics wrong and dispelled all myths about cross-genres, as to date he is amongst the most loved and respected local musicians of his time.

In the past, Kekana has also collaborated and featured on various songs with some of South Africa’s greatest musicians such as Joe Nina, PJ Powers, Soul Brothers, Ladysmith Black Mambazo and the late Nana Coyote. His unique and high range tone have always made him stand out from the crowd.

Born in 1958 in Zebediela, Limpopo, Kekana lost his sight at the tender age of five, and attended a school for the blind in Pietersburg. During his school years, he nurtured his love for singing, and was a member of amateur groups.

In 1979 and 1980, Kekana won what was then known as the “SABC Black Music Award” for Best Male Vocalist. Further awards followed, with the singer taking the “Top Male Vocalist” award on Radio Zulu, and being the runner-up on the Tswana and Sotho Radio Stations.

Since 2001, he frequently collaborated with fellow vocalist Nana Coyote, and his links Steve Kekana 1with a younger generation were solidified through his association with singer / producer Joe Nina, who produced his most recent album “African Lady”. Kekana, Coyote and Nina regularly appeared on stage together, and recorded under the name “The Trio”.

Kekana holds a B Juris and LLB degrees, and has written on Intellectual Property from the perspective of a songwriter.

ABOUT THE PRODUCER
Simphiwe Majozi, an actor on the SABC 1 telenovela Uzalo, will be hosting and producing this first ever tribute concert to Steve Kekana.

Majozi, who plays the role of a ruthless criminal known to many as Sbu on Uzalo is also a director of Ikusasa Arts Development Projects (“Ikusasa”). The organisation focuses on developing and uncovering new talent, whilst celebrating artistic legends and icons in the music industry. He believes that young and old in the entertainment industry can have a mutually beneficial relationship, learning and growing from each other.

Tickets are R150 and can be purchased at www.joburgtheatre.com, via Webtickets or by calling Joburg Theatre’s Box Office on 0861 670 670.

CIRQUE ELOIZE iD – BACK BY POPULAR DEMAND TO ASTOUND AND ASTONISH!

NUMBERS SPEAK FOR EVERY CIRQUE ÉLOIZE MOVE

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0fhGzy1skZ8

Cirque Éloize iD makes its Cape Town debut at Artscape next month, opening on Wednesday, 16 November 2016 and after just fifteen performances, this high-energy production that blends breathtaking acrobatics and street dance, moves to Montecasino’s Teatro for a limited season opening on Wednesday, 30 November and ending on 24 December.  Tickets are on sale at Computicket.

Directed by Jeannot Painchaud and brought to South Africa by leading local promoter, Showtime Management, Cirque Éloize’s iD has been enjoyed over the past 7 years by more than 1 million spectators in over 1000 performances in almost 100 cities across the globe in 30 countries. On stage, there’s speed, powerful performances and a jaw-dropping spectacular trampoline-finale that is guaranteed to leave the audience in awe.  Behind the scenes there’s a story, a dream and a host of interesting facts and figures.

“iD” is one of eleven original productions under the Cirque Éloize banner. Positioned at the heart of the renewal of circus arts this Montreal-based company has been creating moving performances filled with magic for more than 23 years. Proudly boasting more than 4,000 performances in over 500 cities and 50 countries, the worldwide popularity of Cirque Éloize keeps growing. In addition to its touring shows, Cirque Éloize develops custom made concepts for international special events. To date, more than 1,400 events have taken place, seen by over 3 million spectators.

Last month “iD” played to full houses in London and received rave reviews.  ‘I have never seen anything like it,” was the buzz as the audience piled out into the West End night ….,” says Express.co.uk. The reviewshub.com gave the show 4,5 stars and stated that “iD’s greatest strength is that every aspect is individually at the top of its field, complementing each other and culminating in a really impactful and dynamic production.” Soon local audiences will be joining the thousands of worldwide fans enthralled by Cirque Éloize iD.

With iD, Cirque Éloize presents a show positively crackling with daring and modernity. Cirque Éloize’s iD is a blend of circus arts and urban dance: b-boying/b-girling, breakdance, hip-hop and more. The scene is set in the heart of a city, in a public space where people seek refuge and a chance to shed their anonymity; a place where identity is forged and individuality is expressed to a stimulating soundtrack created by composers Jean-Phi Goncalves (Beast) and Alex McMahon. The company is integrating multimedia for the first time in its 9th original creation, giving this show a unique feel. Fifteen performers from 14 disciplines help create iD’s entertaining and resolutely urban universe, in keeping with Cirque Éloize’s tradition of using multidisciplinary performers from around the world.

The response to the show’s first season at Montecasino some 3 years ago was phenomenal, resulting in a sold out shows and a high demand for tickets.  The volume of requests lead to this year’s return SA season which includes Cape Town for the first time.  Two cities, 44 performances by 15 artistes including acrobats, aerialists, a trial biker plus hip hop and break dancers in an intimate theatre setting creates an unrivalled entertainment experience for families and the young at heart.

The Reviewshub.com sums up the show in numerical terms. “Fourteen different disciplines are expertly combined in two hours, matched by the highest standards in design. Painchaud’s vision effortlessly creates a product that pushes boundaries and captivates its audience. Small wonder that it is at 1,000 shows and still going strong.”

The numbers speak volumes. Don’t miss it.  Book now at Computicket by calling 0861 915 8000, visit www.computicket.com or your nearest Computicket service centre.  For more information, visit www.showtime.co.za  stay current on the latest news through social media on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

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MAKE WAY … THE QUEEN IS COMING!

A journey to the heart of FABULOUS …

PRISCILLA QUEEN OF THE DESERT

The hit musical makes its SA debut with local cast.

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Get ready for the musical journey of your life!  The critically-acclaimed hit musical Priscilla Queen of the Desert based on the Oscar-winning hit film makes its South African premiere at Artscape, Cape Town on Tuesday, 28 March 2017.  Presented by Showtime Management in association with Lunchbox Theatrical Productions and Nullarbor Productions, and featuring an all South African cast, Priscilla will be on stage at Artscape until Sunday, 23 April, thereafter moving to Montecasino’s Teatro from Friday, 28 April to 18 June 2017. Tickets are now on sale at Computicket. Hashtag: #PriscillaSA. Brought to South Africa in association with BBC First.

Priscilla Queen of the Desert The Musical originally opened in Australia in 2006 and after a sell-out two year run, opened on London’s West End followed by Broadway in New York. The show continues to wow audiences across the globe with recent return tours to the UK, Australia and New Zealand. It has won awards all over the world, including prestigious Olivier and Tony awards.

Critics the world over rave! The Herald Sun (Australia) claims the show is “Vivid, daring and over-the-top” while The Daily Telegraph (UK) sums up the show as being “hugely entertaining … insanely glitzy”.

Priscilla Queen of the Desert is a heart-warming and uplifting tale of three drag artist friends who hop aboard a battered old bus aka “Priscilla” and go off on the adventure of a life-time through the Australian Outback, to perform in Alice Springs.  On the way they find friendship, love and far more than they ever dreamed of.

With a dazzling array of over 500 award-winning costumes, 200 extraordinary head-dresses and a hit parade of dancefloor favourites including I Will Survive, Hot Stuff, Finally, Boogie Wonderland, Go West, Girls Just Wanna Have Fun, and I Love The Nightlife, this wildly fresh and funny musical is a journey to the heart of FABULOUS!

Showtime Management’s Hazel Feldman says: “Priscilla is the ultimate ‘feel-good’ show. This dazzling musical has all the ingredients for a superb night out: the most wonderful costumes, outrageous glamour, music that will have you dancing in your seat and a funny yet touching storyline. No wonder this show has been such a massive hit from the West End to Broadway and beyond.”

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The proudly South African, exceptionally talented 28-member cast, live band, crew and creative team will give audiences a night of unforgettable performances, nostalgic music and an entertainment experience with all the sparkle to share in Priscilla’s “fabulousness”.

The principal roles will be played by stellar stage, screen and television performers including David Dennis who has achieved prominence in leading roles from classical to contemporary and musical theatre to film and television over the past three decades (Pirates of Penzance, Starlight Classics and movies 10000BC, Winnie and Zambezia); Daniel Buys (Jersey Boys, West Side Story, Saturday Night Fever); Phillip Schnetler (Saturday Night Fever, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz) and veteran actor, James Borthwick (Sunset Boulevard, Evita and over 200 other productions).

Additional roles are played by Taryn-Lee Hudson (Singin’ in the Rain, Jersey Boys), Chantal Herman (Little Shop of Horrors, Evita, Noah of Cape Town) and Candice van Litsenborgh (AnnieSweeney Todd, Sunset Boulevard) with Candida Mosoma (Lion King, Sister Act, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat), The Voice of SA finalist, Thembeka Mnguni (High School Musical, Grease) and Durban born Londiwe Dhlomo (Cabaret, Little Shop of Horrors, Puss in Boots) as the three dazzling Diva’s.

The ensemble features a host of multi-talented local performers including Tshepo Ncokoane (Shrek, Janice Honeyman’s Pantomime Sleeping Beauty); Zane Gillion (Sister Act, Saturday Night Fever, Dirty Dancing); Michael Fullard (Hot Mikado, Sleeping Beauty, Sneeuwitjie); Michael Wallace (Rocky Horror Picture Show, Cabaret, West Side Story); Craig Hawks (Black Sails television series, My Fair Lady); Ryan Flynn (Rocky Horror Picture Show, The Sound of Music, Jersey Boys), Samuel Hyde (Singin’ in the Rain SA, Asia and Australia/New Zealand Tour); Henk Opperman (Private Presley, Dirty Dancing the Musical SA and Asia). Fresh new talent includes Dirk Joubert, Jonathan Raath, Nadine Grobbelaar, Donae Brazer, Lourens Obermeyer and Darius Engelbrecht.

Original Priscilla international Director, Simon Phillips together with Choreographer, Andrew Hallsworth will be coming to South Africa to mount the show together with Resident Director, Anton Luitingh; Musical Director, Bryan Schimmel and Resident Choreographer, Duane Alexander.

Board the bus! Bring your “fabulousness” on this highly entertaining journey. Book now at Computicket by calling 0861 915 8000, visit www.computicket.com or your nearest Computicket service centre.

NB: This musical contains some strong language and adult themes, therefore parental guidance is recommended for children under the age of 12.

For further information visit www.showtime.co.za or www.montecasino.co.za or www.artscape.co.za

Special hospitality packages as well as Show & Stay packages available from Montecasino Hospitality & Corporate Events, (011) 3674250 or montecasino.reservations@tsogosun.com.

Stay current on the latest news through social media on Facebook  Twitter and YouTube  #PriscillaSA

 

A Fever You’ll Want to Catch!

A Review of Saturday Night Fever, currently on stage at the South African State Theatre

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I’ll start off with a confession – I’ve never seen the film version of Saturday Night Fever!! Shock, horror, yes … you can all pick up your jaws and close your mouths now! I didn’t see John Travolta do the whole strut thing in the iconic 3-piece white suit, I only saw the stills; I didn’t hear the Bee Gees’ soundtrack played in its original backdrop format. Hence, when I heard the adapted radio versions, I had no clue of their actual depth or meaning. But that’s all ancient history, relegated to what had become that somewhat lacklustre Disco file of the late 70’s, when I was %$# years old!

Roll on to September 2016 and Bernard Jay’s production of Saturday Night Fever hits the Opera Theatre of The South African State Theatre … I’m now $%*@ years old, and I’m damn excited about it all! Disco’s back! It’s fun, fab, retro and groovy (ok, I know, nobody uses that word)! Glitter balls, go-go boots, big hair and colour, lots and lots of colour!

The storyline goes roughly something like this (just in case you’re part of the uninformed minority):

It’s June 1977, the hottest summer on record and New York is sizzling. Down in the boroughs racial tension is brewing, jobs are scarce and people are angry. Money’s tight, hope seems like a foolish luxury and the only light on the horizon is the glittering disco ball above the dance floor in the club where Tony Manero and his crew, The Faces, hang out on a Saturday night. Tony is ‘da man’. He struts, he moves, he grooves, and everyone else is in awe, especially Annette. Unfortunately, he would prefer the aloof Stephanie Mangano to be as awestruck, but that’s going to take a bit of work on his part. Throw in a side-plot or two, some angst, some religious guilt and there you have it! Oh, and don’t forget all that unforgettable Bee Gees music – Staying Alive, Night Fever, More Than A Woman, Disco Inferno, What Kind of Fool … and of course, many more.

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And it’s all here, everything that can be crammed into a nutshell stage show, and Jay has pulled no punches with putting together a theatrical dream team for this creation. Sarah Roberts’ costumes are spot-on, instantly transporting you to that era of (slightly embarrassing) flares, high waists and wide lapels. Award-winning director Greg Homann proves that he’s clearly able to cast his net a lot wider than solely serious theatre. In this, his musical directing debut, he’s done a sterling job. Musical maestro Rowan Bakker, assisted by Drew Bakker directs his 8-piece band with pacey, up-beat panache through, what for many, is a trip down a music memory lane (by the way … just a quick shout out to Trombone player Dan Selsick … you know, trombone players never get mentioned, so … hi). The energetic, vibrant cast are put through their paces by choreographer Weslee Lauder, who ensures that every step, lift, spin and turn is executed with slick precision.

But oh my word … that set!! Denis Hutchinson has created a living, breathing entity that surges around the stage as if it is its own entirely separate, individual character! It opens, shuts, slides, rises, sinks, splits – I almost wanted to ask it to make me a cup of coffee!  It is an innovation of design genius, enhanced by ingenious, strategic lighting.

And to populate this epic masterpiece, one needs a bunch of gorgeous looking talent, which we have in shovel-loads. The cast is a cohesive and comfortable ensemble, ably navigating the ups and downs that their characters endure, as the audience is quickly swept up and into their lives, their struggles and their triumphs. Accolades must go to:

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Daniel Buys as Tony Manero

Daniel Buys, playing an understated Tony. There’s every opportunity for him to overplay the role, but he reigns it in, allowing his talent and charm to shine through whether he’s taking to the floor at the 2001 Odyssey nightclub, or singing his poignant solo rendition of ‘Tragedy’.

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LJ Neilsen as Annette

LJ Nielsen, for her touching portrayal of the sweet but vacuous Annette, who has yet to discover who she really is. Nielsen’s beautiful, rich voice certainly can’t fail to catch the audience’s attention, even though Annette failed to catch Tony’s. And I have to say, I particularly loved her facial expressions. They just added an extra nuance to her entire performance!

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Natasha van der Merwe as Stephanie with Daniel Buys as Tony

Natasha van der Merwe for her perfect depiction of the ‘on the surface’ cool and collected Stephanie Mangano, while below that tough exterior she’s paddling for all she’s worth! Stephanie epitomises every ‘Tony’ trying to improve his life, determined not to be dragged back to where they started from, but struggling between a new life and acknowledgement of their roots. Van der Merwe gets it right on all levels, striking a balance between tentative and determined and finishing strong.

 

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Kiruna-Lind Devar as Pauline with Matthew Berry as Bobby

Kiruna-Lind Devar, the sweet-faced and even sweeter voiced Pauline who only wants to do the right thing. Watch this space people; this is a young performer going places. Big places!

 

Sebe Leotlela as nightclub singer Candy is incredible and deserves more prominence, as does Bongi Mthombeni as Monty, who could also be put to much better use here.

Take the show for what it is. It’s an enjoyable musical; a bit of a serious theme here and there, but lightened up with many well-known sing-a-long tunes, well-executed dance numbers, a bunch of great looking people in colourful clothes, on a drop-dead incredible moving set! It’s not rocket science, don’t try and read too much into it. Just go and have fun … we all need to have a lot more fun and we’re damn lucky that we have a bunch of people out there who are working their butts off to give it to us!

Saturday Night Fever is on at the Opera Theatre at the South African State Theatre in Pretoria until October 9.

If you haven’t already booked at Computicket, go and do that right now! Why are you still reading this? Go … book … NOW!!!

[PHOTO CREDITS: SANMARI MARAIS]
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